CIVIL ENGINEER: an engineer who designs and constructs buildings, roads, bridges, and other public structures


HYDRAULIC ENGINEER: a branch of civil engineering that deals with the flow and transportation of fluids


IRRIGATION: the artificial application of water to land to assist in the production of crops



Mr Compton Deane designed and oversaw the construction and rehabilitation of beaches on the majority of Caribbean islands. His work in Trinidad included restoration works at Los Iros as well as new beach construction at Chagville and Chagacabana. Chagacabana unfortunately has not been maintained as he would have liked it.

Compton Deane (9th Dec 1931- 28th Sep 2007)

Caribbean Icons in STI Vol 2

Dr Compton Deane was a prominent civil engineer in the Caribbean. He started a Caribbean-wide research programme on beach erosion and became a regional expert in the field. He was responsible for many innovative designs in drainage, irrigation and flood control works in the region, among them the Boerasirie Extension Project in Guyana.

Compton Deane was born on 9th December, 1931 in Georgetown, Guyana. He attended Comenius Moravian School, then Queen’s College in Georgetown, and was awarded a Government Merit Scholarship. Prior to taking up his scholarship at the University of London, he taught chemistry at the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School.

In 1955, he graduated with first class honours in civil engineering, and received the prestigious Chadwick Gold Medal for Best Academic Performance. He completed a postgraduate diploma in hydraulic engineering at Delft University in Holland. He returned to Guyana to take up the post of District Engineer in the Department of Drainage and Engineering. His work focused on addressing the drainage problems faced in low-lying coastal areas with changing tidal levels.

In 1962, he joined the Faculty of Engineering at The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine, Trinidad. He lectured in surveying and hydraulics. In 1966, he went to Japan to learn about tropical beach erosion and became an expert in this area. He went on to work as a specialist consultant to various public and private organisations developing beaches throughout the Caribbean for the next two decades. From 1970 to 1973, he also served as Project Manager of UWI’s Regional Beach Erosion Control Programme. In 1984, he was honoured by the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago for excellence in engineering.

Mr Compton Deane was admired as a first-rate teacher and student mentor. After his retirement from UWI in 1987, he remained actively involved in consulting on coastal erosion. He passed away on 28th September, 2007.